Getting SO frustrated

Getting SO frustrated
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#1

Hi all. I have been having a HELL of a time trying to get a job as a front-end engineer. I have been trying for well over 6 months and no one is responding to me whatsoever. If I DO get a response, it is usually a ‘thanks but no thanks’ (If I see ‘your qualifications are impressive but’ one more time…). I already suffer from severe depression and this is not helping that whatsoever. My student loans are a huge monkey on my back and that is also contributing to my depression. I had to take a very low paying job just to make ends meet. I am exhausted from that job as a work a MINIMUM of 10+ hour days (and it is very labor intensive). I am in pain constantly from that job especially due to a previous injury. It is so severe that I may require surgery in the future.

I refuse to give up but it is frustrating to not hear back AT ALL. A majority of job postings say a CS degree is required (usually just a bachelors). I am one class away from a Masters in Web Design. I have heard that sometimes a hiring manager won’t want to hire someone who has a degree higher than them. Should I remove my Masters from my resume?

I would like to meet up with fellow coders in my area but I suffer from pretty severe general anxiety and I am basically dead from work (as outlined above).

I guess the point of all this was how do those of you who haven’t heard back keep going? I can’t even get an entry level job at this point (I have noticed with those postings now that they are requiring 1-3 years of professional experience).


#2

Hi alc1982, It’s a bit difficult to comment on your case because you don’t explain your skill level. If you are not hearing back from recruiters and not getting any interviews, then EITHER your skills aren’t up to scratch yet, OR you are not presenting yourself in the right way. I don’t think its right (at least here in the UK) that most jobs need a CS degree. That is not my experience (not web dev jobs anyway). In any case, it sounds like you should stop applying for now, finish your masters, and make sure you have a decent web portfolio of your projects.

There are plenty of people on FCC who will help you!


#3

I am both lazy and a narcissist, so I’ll quote myself:


#4

Thanks for the reply! I am highly skilled with HTML and CSS (I have 7 years of school under my belt). I am currently in the process of doing a Javascript Circuit through General Assembly so I would say I am still in the beginning stages as far as my skill goes. I guess I forgot to include that in my mini essay (it’s still early here and I don’t think I am fully awake yet).
Yeah in the US it is unfortunately different. I would say about 75% of the jobs I see say that a CS degree is required. I apply to those jobs anyway since you never know.


#5

If you really want help, provide links to your portfolio, Linkedin profile, Github profile, and resume.


#6

I have never heard of a Masters in Web Design, but if you are really wanting a web development job, I think it would be in your best interest to put it on your resume once you have completed the degree. Which school offers the Masters in Web Design?


#7

I am unable to afford hosting at the moment so my portfolio site is down. I also had a recent hard drive crash and am in the process of trying to recover my data.
For those of you that are currently ‘in the field’, are there any Javascript libraries that you feel junior candidates like me should utilize? React seems to be the most popular one lately.
I started using Github last night. All I have in there thus far is the few coding challenges I have completed but I’ll post the link anyway. Let me know if any of these links don’t work. I appreciate all of the help given. Depression is a #%&*^.

LinkedIn
Github


#8

That makes sense. I think hiring managers may see ‘in progress’ and think I am a full time, onsite student. I am now 100% online as I moved out of state from their only west coast campus. The school I am attending is Academy of Art.


#9

Your resume has personal information in it—you may want to remove them. As for having a portfolio up, you can use GitHub pages. Setting it up is trivial.


#10

I’ve been working professionally for a while and still having a hard time. The struggle is real.

Everyone wants React right now, I’m in the process of trying to master it and brand myself a React developer. A lot of companies refuse to believe that if you’re a good programmer, the framework doesn’t really matter, it’s easy to pick up.

My portfolio sucks because I’ve been writing all this proprietary code for businesses, stuff that I can’t share. So I’m trying to work on that… I’m guessing you need to beef up your portfolio as well. So:

  1. Beef up your portfolio with React projects.
  2. Make sure your fundamentals are good so you can pass an interview when you get it.

Good luck, it’s rough out there.


#11

Resumes are mostly scanned nowadays… looking for certain keywords. If it gets a lot of hit, then maybe only then a human sees it for further review.

Looking at your resume, I see a lack of keywords of what tech stack you know. I have no idea of your tech capability, languages you know, software and frameworks you know how to use, etc. No wonder you’re not getting call backs.

If this is scanned by a computer looking for those tech stack keywords, I’m afraid it won’t find anything.

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#12

A few things.

  • Education: I wouldn’t exclude your master’s. I would just make it clear that you’re seeking an immediate, full-time position.
  • Background: I can’t look at your resume because it’s blocked by my firewall, but skimming your LinkedIn I don’t see any experience with any programming languages. I see HTML and CSS, and while they are useful skills they aren’t really considered programming languages and aren’t enough for a programmer/developer/engineer job. The type of job that list a “degree in computer science or a related field” do so because they want to know that you can program. Very often they’ll look at a candidate who doesn’t have a STEM degree if there is “equivalent experience”, but your LinkedIn doesn’t show any such background.
  • Javascript libraries question: There are no particular libraries that I think it’s important to have experience with, although having experience with using third party libraries is good. It’s also a benefit to have a good understanding of (if not experience in) a framework. React vs Angular probably doesn’t matter much because if you know one it shows that you can learn the other.

#13

The hardest part about being the new guy (or new girl) to the programming scene is that you don’t have any valuable and concrete experience. Sure, time spent in the classroom with a seasoned developer with 20 years experience might help you avoid the common mistakes. However, a client or an employer isn’t going to drop $5-10k on you unless they know you can do the work. And what makes it more difficult, is that you’re part of a sea of newbies who are veiling for attention just like you.

The real way to getting an employer’s attention is by creating… real world value. It doesn’t have to be a mock web site redesign either. It could be a series of blog entries documenting your journey through JavaScript. That can demonstrate that you care about your craft and are willing to stick to something unlike most newbies.

If you don’t mind me asking, what type of labor job is it? Is it warehouse work?


#14

Ok, here are several things I noticed:

1. There are no projects listed!
This is probably the biggest problem you’re having. If you don’t have any experience in front-end, then you need to show your skills with projects. Ideally, you put your projects on Github so people can see your code.

You can also host directly from Github…for free. See https://pages.github.com/

2. You have a lot of experience not related to Front-end on your resume
You are better of with a functional resume and list the projects you’ve been working on instead. Most companies will have you fill out an application asking for your work history. Put all of that information on the application and dedicate your resume to sell the front-end skills that you have.

3. Your skills seem a bit too basic
You mentioned that you’re really good with HTML and CSS. Unfortunately, that’s not really going to cut it. At a minimum, you need to know how to use a front-end javascript framework like React.js or Angular.js. Ideally, you’d also know some back-end technologies. FCC teaches how to use Node.js and Express.js.

Have you tried changing the payment plans on your student loans? I’d check out the income-driven plans to make your loan payments more manageable. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven

If you have a car, consider doing ride-sharing. I’ve done it in the SF Bay Area and it easily paid the bills. I’m not sure how it is in Portland but it might be much better than suffering through your labor intensive job.


#15

That is great advice. Thank you! I am working on a shipping & receiving dock. Same thing basically.


#16

I am in the process of uploading every project I have ever done to GitHub (the guy was able to recover my hard drive. IT sorcery, clearly!). I’ve got about 7 years worth of code to go through and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I think I have over 1 gig worth of stuff, possibly more.
I’ll have to look into changing my current one to a functional resume. I’ll do some research this weekend.
I took two free courses on Udemy with Angular and React. I’ll reboot my FCC progress this weekend after I finish my Javascript Circuit on General Assembly.
I was finally approved for an income based repayment plan and currently have to pay $0 a month. However, I am getting married in July so that debt will become my guy’s once we get married. I filed a complaint about my school with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. If they find in my favor (which there is a very high chance of due to multiple lawsuits against the school), that debt will be erased completely. The investigation has been going on for months so we’ll see I guess.
I will look into RideSharing as well.
Thank you for your extensive reply. I really appreciate it!


#17

How much developer experience do you have? You have to have a few years doing that to really be considered for an engineer position. Keep your masters. A lot of jobs will look at how good your online portfolio is over other things. They want to see that you can do what their job needs.

I would also follow up interviews or what not with an email thanking them for considering you, even if you don’t get the job. You can also ask them why they passed on you so that you “can personally improve” on what made them say no. Don’t let a potential opportunity to learn about getting better pass you by.

I’ve done that a lot in the past. Not everyone will tell you, but some will. Also, you send thank you for taking the time and that does go a long way if you apply again in the future.

I am a disabled vet, so if you’ve got a lot of issues, especially general anxiety like me, going freelance or working a job that is remote is ideal and you might want to check into that. If you injuries are severe enough you can do the Income-Based repayment plan with your student loans. That’s what I did and it helped so much. Hope this helps.


#18

It looks like you have no portfolio and an extremely sparse Github profile. That’s probably your problem right there. I skimmed over the links and couldn’t see a single project you’ve done. Granted I didn’t spend a lot of time on your LinkedIn, but neither would an HR person.


#20

Your primary focus should be figuring out how to stand out. To stand out just pile your efforts into building one really good project.

The next step is figuring out where you want to work. Your project should basically demonstrate certain everyday features that are common to that sort of company.

For example for a small start-uppy sort of place - maybe its an agency that builds prototype apps - you could make a full stack mvp sort of app - less focus on detail and more on the bigger picture.

If you want to work at a big company with bigger budgets/timescales maybe your project would be much smaller in scope but demonstrate a higher level of detail. For a BE dev that might be showing how you can optimise queries or for FE dev maybe its creating a complex autocomplete ajax search with keyboard navigation on the search results (what i did at work today) or something like that.

Once your project is finished create a domain, get it live and drop the url in every cover letter. If its good people will want to hire you.

I got both my jobs because of the skills i demonstrated in my own little projects. Some i worked on for 3-6 months. I now work at an agency that builds massive sports websites. I got an interview because my project was so similar to the work they do.

So i would focus on that. Figure out where you want to work and create something that demonstrates to developers of that company that you could fit in with what they do and how they work.


#21

For me, the big thing I noticed is… I couldn’t find an “actual” “real” live personal website. A regular well designed multi-page website to show your skills as a web developer. A good homepage, about page, contact page, portfolio page, blog so you can write about projects, tips, or whatever, a few landing pages to show some fancy-smancy JavaScript skills. You can create subdomains to park other web projects. This should be project number one…